Posted October 03, 2014 in MH Combermere ON:
Our Topsy-Turvy Summer

by Sandra Novecosky.

We have been plunged into the adventure of a major renovation of our home, and adventure it has been! We had to move out everything but the bare essentials, and we continue to do our usual work, operating out of the basement.

We are sleeping and cooking our meals at a nearby rectory in the village of Latchford Bridge, and we usually eat lunch and supper at St. Joe’s.

While I was at the directors’ meetings in May, the staff here were planning and packing up.

Trina Stitak and Loretta Fritz packed what they could (things like books, feast day dishes, and curtains); Martha Reilander and Carol Ann Gieske converted the back of the clothing room into a temporary sitting/dining room; and Alma Coffman planted a garden, a simpler one than usual.

When I got back, we cleaned the rectory, which hadn’t been lived in for five years. Then we packed up the rest of the house.

Before, during, and after the move, our neighbors have continued to be very generous. Among other things, they helped us pack and move and sometimes they make meals for us.

The rectory at Latchford Bridge is ideal in so many ways: it is big enough and very quiet, and we can pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament. This is a consolation we were not expecting. As Alma said, "See how the Lord wants us to be with him!"

The parishioners of St. Frances de Sales, where we are staying, are thrilled to have us, and we have sung at a funeral there.

We pray to St. Joseph every day for all that we need during this time. The traditional prayer that we use refers to Baby Jesus asleep in his arms, so I was delighted to see that the statue of St. Joseph in the Latchford church is exactly that image!

One challenge was mosquitoes. It has been a record-breaking year for them, and we were baffled as to what to do.

Every way that we tried to get rid of them failed, and those first two weeks, while we were trying to work out all the logistics of our new life, we were sleep-deprived and frustrated.

Finally, a couple of our friends suggested we spray around the edges of the windows. Victory! We could start to relax.

So far, the renovations themselves are going well. About a dozen of our MH brothers helped with the demolition, which took only two days. The electrical work and the insulation are finished, as are the drywall and priming. Our contractor, Tony Harrison, and a group of volunteers have painted everything.

Peter Lyrette, the man on staff at our house, has been a tremendous help. He is often able to point out things that are missed or that need to be adjusted, and among other things, he refurbished our kitchen cupboards.

Meanwhile, life hums along as usual. The shops have been busy with cottagers as they are every summer. We still attend local events, help out where we can, and visit people; and people still visit us.

Well, life is more complicated than usual, and there have been many decisions to make along the way. Through all of this, may our hearts, like our house, be renewed and transformed.


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